Is ringing in the New Year on your Scandinavian chair with a glass of wine too mélancolique for you? If you are a pure believer in how you kick off the year is how the rest will go, then you may want to consider some alternative celebrations — from a romantic evening to a more fun one — depending on your wishes.
Luckily, D.C. and the greater area are packed with a variety of activities to welcome 2019. Here are some plans for those who don’t want to sit at home:
New Year’s Cruises
Be on board as you count down to 2019! If you are looking for a one of a kind experience with friends and family members or a memorable night for two, expect to be dazzled with a dinner cruise and an amazing fireworks display overlooking the city Alexandria skyline (weather permitting).
The Spirit of Washington offers a three-hour cruise along the Potomac River with a buffet-style dinner menu, open bar, and onboard entertainment. Prices range from $199.90 to $289.90 per person, with additionally available upgrades.
The Odyssey offers a four-hour cruise with delicious cuisine, champagne toast, open bar, and entertainment. While the Gold and Platinum packages are sold out, there is still limited space on the New Year’s Eve Package, which is $299.90 each. There are also upgrades for a seafood tower and boarding photographs.
If you are looking for an upscale party, check out Gatsby’s DC Fireworks New Year’s Eve Yacht Party aboard The Mount Vernon Spirit Yacht. This year, the party is bringing back the roaring ’20s! With two DJ’s, open bar, and a buffet-style dinner for meat lovers and vegetarians, the three-hour cruise is sure to be a blast. Prices start from $205 per person and $395 per couple.
Dining on New Year’s Eve
For those who want to wind down while keeping it classy or romantic, making a reservation for a special New Year’s Eve dinner is ideal.
Radiating sophistication, luxury, and savoir-vivre, the first venue that comes to mind is the Willard InterContinental Washington. The iconic hotel is hosting its annual International New Year’s Eve Gala featuring a three-course dinner or dinner buffet of international cuisine option, exquisite desserts by their pastry chef, a balloon drop, dancing, and free-flowing champagne.
Each ballroom of the black-tie event will represent an international destination with entertainment from around the world. Prices range from $125 to $329 per person, check the website for package details.
The Ritz is also offering a NYE Dinner that includes live entertainment, party favors, noisemakers, and a champagne toast at midnight. Seating is between 6:00-11:00 p.m. and $85 per person, $115 with wine pairing.
How would you like to indulge in a luxurious ten-course dinner? At the St. Regis Midnight New Year’s Eve Supper held at the Alhambra restaurant, be ready to bid farewell to 2018 while dancing away to the roaring ’20s music.
With dinner prepared by Executive Chef Sebastien Giannini, live Gypsy Jazz Band, and a toast to the New Year, this evening will certainly be beyond standards. The occasion will be between 8:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. and costs $149 per person, excluding tax and gratuity.
For dinner only options, consider:
The Salt Line
The seafood restaurant is hosting its second annual New Year’s Eve dinner with a four-course pre-fixed menu, a full raw bar, and optional wine pairings. Guests can treat themselves to delicious creations such as stuffed lobster, seared duck breast, seared foie gras, and crab bisque. The dinner costs $85 per person.
Rasika West End
For a more romantic dinner, check out this award-winning Indian restaurant. Chef Vikram Sunderam’s four-course menu including Kashmiri Lamb Chops, Mirch Khumb Korma, and Sweet Potato Peanut Tikki, is ready to excite your taste buds. Rasika West End’s New Year’s Eve dinner costs $85 per person. Call ahead for reservations.
Some other fine dining venues are La Tomate, Hay Adams, 14 K Restaurant, and The Sequoia.
New Year’s Entertainment
Whether you are over the roof for the New Year or just excited to leave 2018 behind you, perhaps live music, dancing, or a festival will be a better match to your energy.
First Night Alexandria
Started by two women in 1994, the annual New Year’s Eve Music Festival held at Old Town Alexandria, is a family-friendly and affordable celebration. In collaboration with a variety of establishments such as churches, museums, retails, and city-owned facilities, the venues will host a range of performers to expand cultural experiences. You can count down to fireworks displays, as well! Tickets are $30 and can be purchased .
A Jazz New Year’s Eve
Grammy Award-winning jazz and pop artist Patti Austin and Hip Hop drummer Trevor Lawrence Jr. are ready to display their talents to celebrate Ella Fitzgerald at the Kennedy Center. The tickets cost $79 and up and include a countdown to midnight with a big balloon drop.
Passport to the World Gala
The International Red Carpet Affair hosted by Hilton Embassy Suites is one of the biggest parties of the year in D.C. With an open bar, live performances, karaoke, dance rooms, and a live hypnotist show, the event serves for those who want to have fun and meet new people. The gala is between 9:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. and costs range from $99 to $149.
Entertainment is not limited to these, of course. Other events include the New Year’s Eve Bash at Bar Elena, parties on the waterfront, Big Night D.C. New Year’s Extravaganza at Gaylord National Hotel (includes fireworks displays), and live music at the Hamilton.
However you want to celebrate, we hope the New Year brings you happiness, prosperity, and peace. Cheers!